Jean Colbert Martineau, 80, a radio personality at WTIC Hartford, Conn., for almost 30 years, died Sept. 5 in Farmington, Conn., after a short illness.
She joined WTIC in 1947 as director of women’s activities after having hosted her own radio shows in Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York.
“The Jean Colbert Show” aired mornings, six days a week, attracting more than 500,000 listeners daily.
Among those she interviewed for the show are Winston Churchill, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Burton, Queen Elizabeth, Albert Einstein, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Prince Ranier, Joe DiMaggio, Fidel Castro, Adlai Stevenson, Presidents Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson, and First Lady Roselyn Carter.
She was the only American broadcaster to interview the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, and the first interviewer of Helen Keller. Her favorite two interviews were with Eleanor Roosevelt and Pope Pius XII.
She continued her radio career until the time of her death, in recent years airing a weekly, half-hour program directed toward the visually impaired for Connecticut Radio Information Services.
She is survived by a daughter, a son and a brother.
Donations may be made to the UConn Children’s Cancer Fund or the Jean Marie Colbert Bone Marrow Transplant Center, both care of the U of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Conn. 06032.